Duke's Class Not Secured Yet

Not too long ago, Duke was getting universal acclaim for its recruiting class.&nbsp; But with an injury and two large question marks, some might be inclined to re-evaluate it.</

Not too long ago, Duke was getting universal acclaim for its recruiting class.  But with an injury and two large question marks, some might be inclined to re-evaluate it.

Fortunately the injury, to JJ Redick, has not proven to be as serious as it might have been.  Coach K saw him play a few weeks ago, so that's good.  But the situation with both Shelden Williams and Sean Dockery is far from clear. 

Shelden Williams, as you surely know, is in limbo to an extent. He (and some teammates) were accused of rape by a young woman who later dropped the charges.   Regardless, the D.A. has passed the case on to a grand jury.  There's no telling yet what will happen there, but most D.A.'s can get an indictment out of a grand jury. If they don't return an indictment, that's obviously a sign they don't see a case.  But that remains to be seen.  

Shelden has paid a price already, regardless of what happens.  His reputation is seriously damaged and he'll have to work hard to repair it.  He's been kicked off his high school team and lost a spot on the McDonald's All-American team - which he was a lock for.  All of that obviously pales next to jail time, but that's a lot for any kid his age to deal with - much less seeing your name in the paper and all over the Web.

As for Dockery, it's very nearly March, and there's no indication he has qualified.  If he doesn't, it's not the end of the world - Chris Duhon will be around next year, and there's time to recruit a point guard for the following class - but it would put a burden on the rotation, and obviously Dockery would benefit from being tutored by Duhon for a year. 

Even if they don't work out, Duke has two quality big men in Michael Thompson and Shavlik Randolph, and JJ Redick is a brilliant long-range shooter, and  Lee Melchionni will likely get his scholarship a year early.

Depending on what happens with these two, there's always a chance Duke could identify some late targets like Andre Sweet, who could have been a nifty player at Duke had he been up to the work.  If they did sign someone late, chances are they'd be a four year player, and that's also a plus.  But they won't be as good as the players they'd be replacing.


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